Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care

Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care

A great video by the Cleveland Clinic reminding us all of what it is to be human.



These Tips For Using Social Media Sites Still Apply In 2013:

(“Like” us on Facebook for more helpful tips)
  • Not being on Pinterest either for personal use or for business awareness can be a mistake for certain brands.  Pinterest ties in perfectly to all other social media platforms.
  • Commonly overlooked when using Twitter; include not designing a page with a background reflecting your brand, providing a description of your page, or including a meaningful logo or photo.  Getting on Twitter, but not interacting with your Followers several times a day, or only discussing your brand and not the industry.  As well, following too many people who don’t follow you back, or who are not relevant to your industry.  Finally, not culling your Followers who may simply be useless robots or spammers.
  • Facebook mistakes include; failure to design a “brand page”.  Not integrating the Twitter streams into Facebook, or vice versa, not keeping the Facebook Page up to date, and not allowing customer feedback.
  • Google Plus is Google’s social platform that is an alternative to  Facebook and Twitter. We’ve got some handy hints to help you out in using this effective and visible means to promote your brand. From quicker sharing options, better content curation, and smarter privacy setting, Google+ can reach the right audience for certain businesses.
  • The most common mistake for businesses using social media is not having a plan. “I’m on Facebook!” is great, but what are you going to do there? “We’ve got 10,000 fans!” is also great, but what are you going to have them do? “We’ve got a blog!” is also fantastic, but does it have a strategic goal? Are you winning search results? Capturing leads? Monitoring what is being said about your brand online?  If you don’t have a business purpose for these activities and are not measuring that success, then social media is just a hobby.
  • Finally, ignoring the impact of customer reviews on such powerhouse social media review sites such as TwitterTrip Advisor, and RateMD about your business or those of your competitors is a costly mistake no business can afford to make.  Appeasing ticked off customers, and rewarding those who give you kudos, is free and makes for good business sense.

Customers Are Going Mobile; Is Your Restaurant Ready?

Openmenu (not to be confused with OpenTable) did not take kindly to RED Brand Media using their information verbatim to market their idea for restaurant menus.  Their idea is an online platform wherein you can manage “a single menu which powers your entire online presence”.  So we have decided to re-write our article and include foodies who simply want to find a place to eat that has more than hamburger meat on their menu.

If you live in Toronto, and are looking for good food and eating adventures, in comes Yelp, and Zagat to the rescue.  Do a search for your favorite Toronto restaurant on one or both of these apps (Zagat is not free however), or online, then head over to diningdatenight.com to see if you can save 30% off by pre-booking.

If you are a restauranteur, an alternative to Openmenu is Must Have Menus.  You can create and manage menus quickly, easily, and affordably for print, web & Facebook.  Check them both out and see which one is right for you.  Creative, and adjustable menus have just gone primetime in the social media universe.

Are You Using Twitter For Business Effectively?

  • Understand how Twitter works so your business can actively and effectively join the conversation.

  • Engage your customers

    Learn how to tweet shareable information, plan for a weekly content calendar, and give your business a unique voice.

  • Grow your audience

    Learn how to work with partners, highlight your handle in other marketing channels, and extend the reach of your message through Retweets.

Go to Twitter for Business to learn more.  Download the guide to Twitter for Small Business hereImage.

RED Brand Media | Social Media Strategists - Toronto, Canada:

The best ways to measure what you do or don’t do in your SEO strategy: “Ranking is not important of itself, but is just a means to an end. The end results you are looking for includes influencing people to take action with regard to your brand.”

Originally posted on Snap!:


Most of the information in this article first appeared in a July 2, 2012 article by Sage Lewis  on ClickZ.

Click here to find out more!

Why Measure the Effectiveness of Your SEO Strategy?

Search Engine Optimization is a process to establish your website’s visibility on popular search engines and also to improve quality traffic using organic results. SEO is not a magical trick to improve your website’s search engine visibility. Rather, it is a process that requires dedication and commitment to get better ROI.

If you are using search engine optimization as a key component of your marketing to maximize clicks to your site, you are probably aware that SEO is more expensive than ever.  Therefore, you will want to analyze and adopt the best optimization techniques at affordable costs. This means  measuring, monitoring and adjusting your SEO strategy.

Forget Ranking Reports

With video results, image results, and social results are all blended together in…

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Infographic: A crash course on LinkedIn to help just about everyone who is Linked-less

LinkedIn is the the world’s largest professional network with 161 million members worldwide.  Mashable has a recent guide (May 2012) to getting started on LinkedIn if you don’t have a profile, and especially if you are a recent college grad here

Meanwhile enjoy the infographic courtesy of mindflash.com.



The Rise of the Visual Web, Image Overtakes Text, and Selling on Pinterest

Kodak, before its demise was on to something; a picture is worth a thousand words.  People want to take and share engaging photos and video as evidenced by visual sites such as  TumblrInstagram, and hot new video site Socialcam.  Pinterest, the newest, hottest, and third most popular social media site behind Facebook and Twitter is a online scrapbook of feel good images shared with other people, with the ultimate goal of driving users back to the original website for more information.  Pinterest currently refers more traffic to external sites than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn, combined.  The more visually appealing the image is, the more curious the user will be about checking out the source.   Users will also be curious about checking out the poster of the image, and that will be you and a variety of other people if the image is popular.

Pinterest does not officially say how many users it has, but according to comScore, the site had 18.7 million unique visitors in March 2012.  Over 85% were women.  This represents a great opportunity to sell to mom’s, and women who love fashion, cooking, make-up, re-decorating…the list is endless.  Brands are still scrambling and trying to figure out the best way to sell on Pinterest.  Better Homes and Gardens has 73 pin boards, where images can be posted, with titles such as “Pretty Patios and Porches” “Fun Front Doors” and “We Love Baking.”  It has 47,854 people who follow all of the brand’s boards and about 350,000 who follow individual boards.  Their social media analysis has concluded that a younger female demographic appears to be following them via Pinterest.

Interesting stuff, but these followers most likely will not buy their magazine, nor can they directly make a purchase from any of the visually appealing images.  BH&G will not get advertisers swarming at their door unless they are able to mass sell on Pinterest with “Product Listings”.  For individuals who are running a small business on Etzy, Cafepress,  Zazzle, or their own ecommerce site product listings are a great way to sell items on Pinterest.  After all, Pinterest users enthusiastically clip and share items they might want to buy.

For experienced Pinterest users who already have cultivated a following, here is how selling on Pinterest goes:

  • You should have the pinbox uploaded on your toolbar from Pinterest.
  • Go to your website or your store where you want to pin your product.
  • Next, click the pinbox on your toolbar menu.
  • Pinterest will automatically open up and appear on your screen.
  • All your product images will appear on the screen. Pick the one you want to pin.
  • Pinterest will ask what board you want to pin it to. Or you can create a new one by scrolling down on the categories. I named mine Products I Love.
  • Add a description of the product to help people find your pin. Just as you would a tag or keyword. Important: Add the price after the description with the $ sign. Example: $9.99. Pinterest will place the price in the upper left corner of the image. Pinterest will also place all priced products on the gifts tab on the top of their homepage.
  • Pinterest will automatically link to your site or product when a person clicks on it.
If you don’t have the time or desire to set up an ecommerce site just to sell on Pinterest, keep reading.  Pinterest’s terms of service prevent you from using it “for any commercial purpose or the benefit of any third party, except as otherwise explicitly permitted for you by Pinterest”.   With that being said, if you are really  just interested in profiting from your creations or products on Pinterest and have a Paypal account, there is Pin2Sell.  Digital design and marketing agency, CliqueStudios has seen a need, and filled it.  Just go to pin2sell.com, fill out the details, post a photo of your item, and submit. When fellow Pinterest users click on your pinned item, they’ll see the the price, and will be automatically redirected to a PayPal checkout page.  The clincher?  There are no fees…yet.  As well, Pinterest may ban the application at any time due to their terms of service agreement.

As it is right now, the Pinterest community is best suited for visually-appealing content which encompasses retail, lifestyle, food, home decor, design, publishers, and travel.  As a brand, shift your social media strategy and figure out a way to to have what you do, make, create, and sell be more image led.   Develop a visual social media strategy to blend with the current text that you have.  Register your profiles on various visual social networks and continually illustrate your brand.

RED Brand Media | Social Media Strategists - Toronto, Canada:

A very good article on using Twitter for beginners. Most important – “Don’t randomly follow as many people as you can hoping for a followback. If someone checks your account and sees that you have 10 followers, you are following 423 and you have tweeted 5 times, you will look like a spammer. Nobody wants to follow a spammer…” We usually block such users. Another good article about using Twitter can be found here: http://www.learningconversations.co.uk/main/index.php/2012/04/30/twitter-do-s-and-don?blog=5

Originally posted on Socialite SOS - Social Media Management in Halifax West Yorkshire:

Follow Me!

As an Independent retailer myself, I have personally witnessed how Twitter can add value to my business, both online and offline. People regularly come into the gallery and mention that they follow me on Twitter!  I love it, it’s great to get customer feedback that advertising on Twitter really does work. It’s very rewarding.

In my recent conversations with other retailers, some are still a bit unsure what Twitter is all about:

“I just don’t get it”

“I don’t know what to do”

“I’m not very good at it”

“Nobody wants to know I’m having a pastrami sandwich for my dinner”

“It’s a waste of time, you post your product and then it’s halfway down the page before anyone sees it”

If you are new to Twitter, you might be familiar with the above thoughts and have had the similar conversations yourselves.

I can guarantee with an enormous degree…

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Social media strategy involves more than brainstorming with a team.  Cool ideas are great, and you should definitely check out the options on Facebook, but there are other components to a strategy meeting that can help to set you up for success. Here are a few basics to consider before you talk social media strategy:


  1. Your own industry. This is the easy part. You usually know all about your own industry—competitors, traffic, conversion rates, etc. You should have a basic knowledge of your website traffic over the last year and who is sending you traffic (found in Google Analytics). Pull out the top ten and have a brief description of their sites or the article that’s sending traffic at the meeting. A good outside opinion on what your visitors are experiencing when they come to your site (what’s confusing, is it inviting, are they getting enough information from your company). Ask someone who doesn’t work with you to spend a few minutes looking at your website, Twitter, Facebook, and so on.
  2. Your competitors. You probably know who your top competitors in the area are and it’s important that you have a good look at their sites as well as their social channels (Twitter, Facebook, blog, mobile apps). You should also think big. Look at the brands at the very top of the country or the world and have a good and useful web layout. You might be surprised at what your development or web team can do to get some of those pieces on your site. Certainly integrating all of your social media networks in an easy to find manner is a must on your web site.
  3. A little bit about everything. This is somewhat harder because the direct tie to your own industry is not as obvious, and after working day in and day out in your own workplace, it might even feel surprising that there are industries outside your own. Yet your audience certainly is aware of other businesses and activities outside your industry. When developing online strategy, it’s important to know what social media brands are only a click away. This can be the fun part of the meeting because it’s also the time to talk about things you read about that were really cool. For example, how can we incorporate Flattr, Groupon, Square,  Google+, or your own mobile apps. 

Next, before the meeting, write a list about your audience. What other sites might they be visiting and what are their Twitter feeds, blogs, and other communication like? Take note of the comments on their sites, blogs, etc.  What are they complaining about?  What questions are they asking over and over? 

Equipped with information you’re ready to have a conversation about what you should be offering online. Aim to “keep up with the Jones” by having the basics that your industry has online, and then surpass them by taking a look at what the brands with millions of dollars are doing.

4 Ways To Maximize Your Blog’s ROI

RED Brand Media | Social Media Strategists - Toronto, Canada:

“Drop your categories, archives, and search box” to start with. Good idea.

Originally posted on bridge nine interactive:

There are more than 178 million blogs on the Internet, with over 7,000 new blogs created each day. These numbers make it difficult for any blog to stand out from the crowd.

We asked Derek Halpern, author of Socialtriggers.com, to share his expert advice on how to design and organize your blog for maximum results. Here’s what he had to say.

1. Differentiate your blog from your competitors’.

Derek HalpernHalpern suggests researching your competitors’ blogs and sites to see what they are doing in terms of layout, design, and color…and then do something different.

“I wanted to make sure that my site looked drastically different,” Halpern says of his company’s site. “Most marketing blogs are running a magazine layout, so I went back to the traditional blog layout. Other marketing blogs are focused on the color red as their main color; I chose purple. Other blogs have really fancy…

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